Custom "Pink" Cadillac Autographed by Aretha Franklin Auctioned Off at the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year Grammy Gala
After the action got underway at the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year Gala during Grammy Week, one lucky bidder was able climb behind the wheel of a one-of-a-kind Cadillac to drive down the "Freeway of Love" as stylishly as the "Queen of Soul" herself. Leo Bunin of California won final bid on a special pink Cadillac CTS - the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year - hand-signed by Aretha Franklin, and awarded in a live auction in Los Angeles on February 8, 2008. The car was definitely the talk of the night, and at $51,500 was one of the top five items sold at the auction which set a record for MusiCares fundraising - $4.5 million.
Aretha Franklin signed the headrest with a paint pen in a color that matched the car's custom paint job which was primarily pink, but in certain lights appeared gold to capture the spirit of the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Franklin, a 17-time Grammy-winning recording artist and Detroit native, was honored at the 18th annual MusiCares Person of the Year dinner and concert. Proceeds from the annual Grammy Week gala provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.
"Cadillac is tickled pink to provide a unique auction item celebrating Detroit native Aretha Franklin at this year's MusiCares gala," said George Doss, regional divisional marketing manager for Cadillac in GM's Western Region. "Cadillac is proud to return for the fourth consecutive year as a major sponsor of this prestigious Grammy Week event."
The "pink" hue was chosen in the spirit of Franklin's memorable lyrics "Goin' ridin' on the freeway of love in my pink Cadillac" from her hit song "Freeway of Love" that earned her a Grammy Award in the "Best R&B Vocal Performance - Female" category at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards in 1985. The custom CTS was hand-signed by Franklin. The multiple award-winning 2008 CTS offers a remarkable combination of luxury, technology, and performance in a sedan aimed at creating the desire and head-turning quotient normally reserved for sports cars.
The 50th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 10, 2008, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
By Brandy Schaffels